What is a marketing job?

Whether you’re on a marketing team of one or 30, your job description may have as much in common with a CTO as it does with any other marketer – and the only commonality might just be your company’s boilerplate. Marketing is that broad of a profession.

For most of us, that’s a huge benefit. We bring a wide range of skills, expertise and strategies anywhere we work. And in fact, that’s why so many of us get to be a team of one, aka a jack of all trades. Marketers can tell a cohesive story, make a product shine and pull together the data to show their effectiveness. Some people think that’s a team of at least 3, but for many of us it’s just a regular Thursday.

There are specific competencies among marketers. And whether you’re looking to specialize, better describe yourself on LinkedIn, or hire for your team, it helps to know what each sector of marketing is and what it requires and what differentiates you in a crowded field. 

We asked AMA Chicago members to tell us about their job – as they explain it to someone who isn’t in marketing. Take a look at the vast range of marketing expertise represented in our chapter, let alone the entire industry of marketing. 

If nothing else, it might help your friends and family understand that your job is nothing like Don Draper, Olivia Pope or even Alexis Rose.

Lauren Banks | Vice President, Group Account Manager at The Shipyard

What I do: I am the VP, Group Account Manager for a marketing agency. I lead the account management team for our East Coast division. Account management works with our agency’s clients to launch and manage successful campaigns. We are the “face of the agency,” as our clients don’t often meet every person who is working on their business. We are the business advisors, strategic and creative thinkers who also work internally with our various departments – creative, media, PR etc., to ensure that campaigns are strategically focused and aligned with client goals and budgets. We put out fires, steer the ship and take none of the credit.

Skills needed: relationship management, strategic thinking, innovation, flexibility and agility, good written and verbal communication 

View Lauren’s LinkedIn

Carina Smith | Senior Marketing Specialist at Adage Technologies 

What I do: I run the day-to-day marketing tasks for my company, including creating emails, social media copy, blog posts, and other collateral. I ensure there is a consistent brand voice throughout all of our marketing materials and communications to clients. I also optimize our website, updating it with the latest content and keeping best practices in mind, and I am currently in the process of overseeing the full website redesign. Another facet of my job is to submit our client work for awards to gain national recognition within our field and promote ourselves as a leader in the industry. In addition to these tasks, I uphold all sponsorship relationships and manage events, including but not limited to speaking opportunities for leadership, trade shows, and industry events.

Skills needed: project management, social media, email marketing, event management, brand marketing, website optimization, relationship management, CRM tools, strategy and design, research

View Carina’s LinkedIn

Dean Petrulakis | SVP, Sales at LCP

What I do: At its core, my job is to develop new business for my company. New business can come from net new customers or from existing customers. I spend the largest amount of my time trying to develop new business with current customers, as this is the quickest way to grow revenue, since we already have trust established and I have existing relationships. What are we not doing for current customers that we could be doing? It’s my job to uncover those needs with my current customers. 

When I’m looking for new business, I try to approach companies who I know would benefit from what we do best based on our track record with our current customers. However, above all else, my job is to develop and nurture relationships with people who may become customers. They may never become customers, and that is ok. However, those same people might refer me to someone else who does need my services. 

Skills needed: verbal and written communication, listening, empathy, relationship management, being a self-starter, grit and determination, resilience, problem-solving, adaptability, ability to see disparate parts and create harmony and solutions

View Dean’s LinkedIn

Maggie Bahler Rizzio | Communications Manager, Renew My Church at Catholic Diocese of Chicago 

What I do: I work for a large, non-profit organization that is considered the “headquarters” of the Catholic church in Chicago. My small team leads the communications efforts that support renewing the faith of Chicago-area Catholics through both structural and spiritual initiatives. Our materials are distributed to parishes (churches) across the archdiocese to help their parishioners (members) grow in their faith and share the joy of their faith with others.

Skills needed: relationship management, editing, proofreading, simplification of complex info for a broad audience, project management, organizational skills, team leadership, digital competence, knowledge of the Catholic faith

View Maggie’s LinkedIn

Steve Krull | CEO & Co-founder of Be Found Online 

What I do: People often refer to me as “Chandler from Friends,” because nobody could ever make sense of what his job was. When asked “What is it you do?” I generally test the waters by answering “I work on the internet in marketing.” The number of times this generates a response of “Oh, are you a coder?” is astounding. From there, I generally offer something along the lines of “Nope, not a coder. Short version – I help people sell their products/services on sites like Google & Facebook.”

Skills: Excel & Google Sheets, knowledge of SEO best practices and sinister practices (you don’t want to make a mistake with a client’s site/budget), Google Analytics, ability to find and use available tools, certifications, project management, deckology, management, leadership, communication, negotiation, public speaking, thought leadership 

Bonus Content: 
A few favorite tools: MOZ, SEM Rush, aHREFs, BrightEdge, Conductor, Botify. 
A few helpful certifications: SEOMoz, SEMRush, Google, Facebook, HubSpot and others have wonderful certification tracks.

View Steve’s LinkedIn

Desmon Walker | Co-Founder, Narratent

What I do: My role is like that of the Commander of a Navy Seal team – leadership that is in the trenches. I help brands such as NBC Sports, Ten To One Rum, and Universal Music Group tell their stories and engage customers through websites, social media, and more. At the same time, I’m focused on leading my agency to new levels – growing revenue, starting or buying other companies, and launching a podcast. My favorite part about being Co-Founder of Narratent is that what we do is as creative as it is strategic and technical.

Skills needed: content strategy, copywriting, search engine optimization, video editing, graphic design, website design, videography, photography, data analysis, community management 

View Desmon’s LinkedIn 

Shannon Lee | Senior Vice President, Creative at StudioNorth

What I do: As senior vice president of our brand and marketing agency’s 24-person creative department, I manage designers, writers, UX and video production and ensure that the delivery of their creative work is on strategy, on time and on budget. As the head creative strategist at our firm, I also lead brand workshops, help launch new brands into market and partner with our strategy and digital marketing teams to develop omnichannel digital marketing campaigns for our clients. I also play a key role in new business development for our agency.

Skills needed: people management, presentation and public speaking skills, client relationship management, cross-functional team collaboration, brand strategy, creative ideation, executive presence

View Shannon’s LinkedIn

Sara Naatz | Founder and Chief Strategist at Rebel Cause Digital

What I do: I own a strategic SEO consulting business where my primary job is driving qualified traffic to my clients’ sites through organic search. We providing our clients with comprehensive, data-driven SEO strategies that deliver better results faster and inform big-picture marketing goals. Although SEO is seen as a very specific area of expertise in marketing, it overlaps with so many other areas of marketing that most of the best SEOs I know have a lot broader background than just search!

Skills needed: SEO, research, analytics & tracking, basic coding, data visualization, content marketing, CMS management, UX & information architecture, copywriting, conversion rate optimization (CRO), basic video & graphic design (for video & image search!), problem-solving, account management, client management, relationship management, project management 

View Sara’s LinkedIn

Leslie Marshall | Chief Marketing Officer at Mesmerise 

What I do: As CMO, I am a brand storyteller, innovation catalyst, growth driver and capability builder. My mission is to build the Mesmerise brand and find unique opportunities to showcase our story and experts, accelerate revenue opportunities, and bring together a high-performing marketing team. Our brand story this year will include a rebrand, launch of our new website, thought leadership content and sales engagements. I’m going to build a marketing team that is responsive, innovative and passionate about delivering great experiences for our clients. And we’re going to partner with our sales team to drive revenue.

Skills needed: strategic planning, vision, storytelling, brand management, budget management, long-term and short-term planning, team management, resource allocation, verbal and written communication, omnichannel marketing, collaboration

View Leslie’s LinkedIn

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